So NZ prisons are torturing prisoners…
The use of restraints on mentally ill prisoners amounts to torture and undermines New Zealand’s status as a civilised country, a leading lawyer says.
Nigel Hampton, QC, said a damning investigation into tie-down beds and waist restraints in jails showed the Corrections Department did not appear to have learned from previous inquiries into the care of severely ill people behind bars.
“It’s inhumane and it’s small wonder that it can be described as torture,” he said.
“It’s quite extraordinary that in a first world country which prides itself on its treatment of its citizens that this is happening.”
Hampton, the patron of the prison reform group Howard League, said he was not yet convinced about Corrections’ promises to overhaul mental health services in jails.
Four Mongrel Mob gang members have received thousands of dollars in a secret Government payout to compensate them for being beaten by prison guards in the 1990s.
The men were among nine prisoners whose complaints of systematic beatings and torture at Hawkes Bay’s Mangaroa Prison sparked a ministerial inquiry in 1993.
The compensation and a formal apology come three years after the Solicitor-General’s office decided not to prosecute the prison staff.
The United Nations will fund a review into seclusion and restraint practices in New Zealand following concerns about their use.
The announcement comes after media coverage of the plight of Ashley Peacock, who has been kept in seclusion at a Porirua mental health facility for five years.
His case has been the subject of grave concern for agencies such as the Human Rights Commission after being raised by his family and the media on several occasions during his seclusion.
…Human Beings are deeply social animals. Forced isolation is the worst punishment meted out to us. Losing your liberty IS the punishment when society says you have broken the rules. There is however an element in NZ society who don’t see the loss of liberty as a punishment. Because of the anger they feel towards criminals, whipped up by a media who use crime porn headlines to create emotional connection with the audience, these NZers demand suffering as well as incarceration. Adding suffering to loss of liberty ends up creating people more damaged when they are released than when they first went in.
Allowing fear and spite to shape social policy creates ugly counter-productive results and now that we have ACC investing in SERCO as a private prison contractor, we have a financial incentive to keep locking more and more NZers up. Bill English ritually sheds crocodile tears over the 10 000 incarcerated, yet in the same sentence will always confirm that he intends to build another 1500 bed private mega prison extension at Wiri“.
And Corrections response to all this torture and abuse of prisoners?
A shrug of the shoulders and a “Meh”.
Corrections know that the lynch mob mentality of an easily led electorate manipulated by media and politicians will always have a thirst for suffering with punishment. Corrections know that society doesn’t give a fuck about prisoner rights. Corrections know the public are too stupid, angry and fearful about crime to rationally understand that abusing these prisoners only creates more damaged people entering society.
Corrections knows all this and doesn’t give a fuck because they know you will be led off to some other trivial bullshit within a weeks time.
Corrections know they could solve these problems and eliminate torture and abuse and make real headway with rehabilitation if the Government funded them properly, but because the public would scream at clean, modern, healthy and healing prisons as a luxury hotel for criminals, Corrections knows they can treat these people like scum and we, the political establishment and the corporate media who need crime porn to rate won’t blink a fucking eye.
And that’s the true horror here.